Hollywood starlet Jessica Alba may be known as a sex siren, but she has shown her serious side by encouraging children in Joburg’s Alexandra township to go to school.
Alba said: “I’ve had an incredible visit to South Africa, listening and learning about the fight for education for all and sharing in the excitement about the upcoming World Cup.”
The 28-year-old was recently part of the star-studded cast of the comedy Valentine’s Day. In 2001 Maxim magazine rated her No1 on its Hot 100 list, which names the world’s 100 most beautiful women.
But her visit to South Africa is a philanthropic one. Alba is a guest of 1Goal, a Fifa initiative that seeks to give all children access to education.
“Not only is this going to be a tournament to remember, the education summit President [Jacob] Zuma is planning will help to ensure that the lasting legacy of this World Cup will be education for every child,” she said.
The Times caught up with the mother of a 20-month-old daughter, Honor, and her film-producer husband, Cash Warren, while on their visit. The couple arrived in a cream Land Rover without their baby girl, accompanied by six bodyguards and a camera crew.
The petite actress, dressed in navy skinny jeans, a white top and brown pumps, walked around smiling and chatting to the children on a soccer field in the impoverished township, while a local team was warming up for a soccer game.
Alba spoke to the children, who didn’t seem to know who she was, saying: “It’s very important to go to school, even though it’s tough and expensive. Education is important, so you must all keep going to school.”
Later, she encouraged followers on her Twitter page to join the effort: “Sign up to [1GOAL to] ensure every child has access to an education.”
Alba was spotted outside Safa House in Jo burg yesterday morning, before heading to Soweto to visit a school, along with local organising committee head Danny Jordaan.
She also visited a gum-boot dance studio, which she seemed to have enjoyed.
She tweeted : “I am so inspired by the Gumboot Dancing Studio in Alex township, and Jack who runs the programme. Thank you for the amazing performance.”